On April 16, Pickaway-Ross will again co-sponsor the Health, Wellness & Fitness Expo with Ohio University-Chillicothe, but preparation for this growing event starts long before then.
Deb Park has been the force behind the Expo since 1998, when she created a small women’s health fair. A Pickaway-Ross employee who attended that fair suggested that Pickaway-Ross get involved, and Deb joined our ranks as a casual part-time employee. In 2002, the first Pickaway-Ross-sponsored Expo was held at the Christopher Conference Center. By the second year, the growing number of vendors required a larger space.
“I realized that the only location in town that would allow us to continue to grow was the Shoemaker Center,” Deb said. “I reached out to OU-C, and we have continued to work together on bringing this wonderful event to Ross County.”
As the name indicates, the event – scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16 – brings together health, wellness and fitness professionals to provide information – and giveaways – to Expo visitors.
Entertainment is also a part of the Expo. In addition to ballroom and belly dancing demonstrations, this year’s activities include a fitness camp by OU-C, a driving simulator from the Chillicothe Police Department and the opportunity for kids – and adults – to visit with Chief Crazy Horse, the Chillicothe Paints mascot, and Ronald McDonald.
Dan Ramey Sr., radio show host for 1490 WBEX-AM, will again serve as the event’s emcee.
Deb said the growth of the Expo is surprising and a point of pride for her.
“The continued support of the vendors and the community is great,” she said. One vendor is Adena Health System, where Deb works full time in the Anesthesia Department.
“Adena has continued to support me and be a big supporter of the event,” she said.
Other Level 1 vendors this year are Animal Care Clinic, Berger Health System, CareSource, McDonald’s, National Church Residences, Ross County Community Action, Ross County Safety Council, Stonecreek Dental, Subway and 106.5 WZLX-FM.
Supporting the Expo as Level 2 vendors are Advanced Services Heating & Cooling, Body Zone, Chillicothe Fitness & Racquet Club, Ross County Home Health, Spaulding Chiropractic, Walgreens: 850 N. Bridge St. & 1020 Western Ave., Wissler, Myers & Kallies Family Dentistry and the YMCA of Ross County.
If you have any questions about the Expo, call Deb at 740-701-4725.
Dennis Franks is superintendent of Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center. He can be reached at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal